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LG to wide gap with rivals with enhanced OLED TV lineup

Paik Seon-pil, vice president of TV customer experience division at LG Electronics (LG Electronics)
Paik Seon-pil, vice president of TV customer experience division at LG Electronics (LG Electronics)

BERLIN – LG Electronics, the dominant No. 1 firm in the OLED TV market, said Saturday it aims to further widen its gap with rivals by offering a more diversified product lineup that meets different consumer demands.

According to market tracker Omdia, Europe is the largest OLED TV market, making up more than 50 percent of global shipments. In the region, LG’s market share was a whopping 65.8 percent in the first half of this year, followed by Sony with 17 percent and Philips with 11 percent.

In efforts to further cement its leadership in the burgeoning OLED TV market, LG unveiled two brand-new models, including the world’s largest OLED TV and a bendable OLED TV for gamers, at this year’s IFA trade show.

The company debuted the world’s largest 97-inch OLED evo Gallery Edition during Europe’s largest tech gathering. Set to be released in the fourth quarter this year, the new TV is the latest addition to LG’s OLED lineup, ranging from the smallest 42-inch model to bigger models with gigantic screens.

The TV panel is less than 3 millimeters thick, which allows the TV set to be attached to the wall with almost no space in between.

As well as the quality of the panel produced by its sister firm LG Display, LG’s competitive edge is its own high-end processor exclusively designed for its OLED TVs. The artificial intelligence-powered processor, called Alpha 9 Gen 5, has drastically improved both video and audio quality optimized for the OLED screen.

“Runner-ups may be able to catch up on TV production, but when it comes to processors, we have the upper hand,” Paik Seon-pil, vice president of LG’s TV customer experience division, told reporters at LG’s exhibition hall.

Following the high-profile debut of the 97-inch model, however, Paik stressed the company has no plan to roll out a larger screen model, citing marketability and efficiency.

“Even the 97-inch model is not aiming for mass market adoption,” he said, adding the popularity of the 65-inch and 75-inch models is expected to remain robust for some time globally.

“When it comes to larger models, we are offering micro LED models whose modular concept allows more flexibility.”

Another unique offering from LG during the IFA was the Flex, a 42-inch bendable OLED TV.

LG has seen a recent surge in sales of its 42-inch and 48-inch OLED TV models, largely due to a growing demand from gamers who want to enjoy gaming on a larger screen for more immersive viewing.

As an outcome of close consultations with professional gamers, the main targets of the TV are those who enjoy console games, which are almost 60 to 70 percent of gamers who enjoy gaming on TV screens. Other gamers who enjoy shooting games may still prefer smaller screens, whose demand can be met by LG’s other PC monitors.

“The market for gamers has huge potential, but remains a niche market with an annual 50,000 to 100,000 unit sales,” he said. “With the TV market getting saturated quickly, creating new segments will differentiate us from our rivals, helping us cement our market leadership.”



By Lee Ji-yoon (jylee@heraldcorp.com)
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